Thursday, December 3, 2009

Common Beauty Supplies Serve Double Duty in the Kitchen

I gathered these tips from Cook's Illustrated magazines. Everyday personal items that you already have at home can help you out in a pinch while you're cooking.

1. Dental Floss: If you're out of kitchen twine, use unflavored and unwaxed dental floss to tie up your meat, poultry, or bouquet garni. (From Cook's Illustrated Winter 2008 Issue)

2. Spray Bottle: Fill with distilled water and use to rinse your wine glasses after washing. Distilled water won't leave spots when you air dry the glasses upside down. (From Cook's Illustrated Issue 82). Also, before putting colored sugar on your cookies, spritz them lightly with water so the sugar doesn't fall off. (From Cook's Illustrated Issue 83)

3. Exfoliating Cloth: Use the rough texture of exfoliating cloths for fast and easy scrubbing of potatoes, carrots, and beats. (From Cook's Illustrated Issue 38)

4. Hair Dryer: Use your hair dryer's No Heat setting to dry washed foods if a recipe calls for dryness, such as strawberries before chocolate dipping. (From Cook's Illustrated Issue 82). Also, to remove sticky price tags from items like dishware, point the blow dryer at High Heat onto the label. When the glue softens, lift it off. (From Cook's Illustrated Issue 84)

5. Toothbrush: Where does that roll of plastic wrap start? Rub toothbrush bristles along the roll while rotating it until you loosen the hidden edge. (From Cook's Illustrated Issue 85). Also, instead of specialty brushes, use toothbrushes to clean mushrooms. Use soft-bristled brushes for delicate work. (From Cook's Illustrated Free Issue)

6. Sweatband: To keep your oil bottle from staining your pantry shelves, place a sweatband around the bottle to catch drips. Just toss it in the washing machine when it's too dirty. (From Cook's Illustrated Free Issue)

7. Heated Neck Wrap: Warm it up in the microwave and wrap it around a bowl of dough. The extra heat helps the dough rise faster, in about half the time. (From Cook's Illustrated Free Issue)

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